Downsiders by Neal Shusterman

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Beneath the sewer grates and manholes of the city lies a strange and secret world called the Downside.

Every Downsider knows that it's forbidden to go Topside, and most fear a collision of the two worlds. But fourteen-year-old Talon is curious about what goes on above ground, and one day he ventures out in search of medicine for his ailing sister. There he meets Lindsay, who is as curious about Talon's world as he is about hers. When Lindsay visits the Downside for the first time, she marvels at the spirit of the Downsiders, and the way they create works of art from topside "trash," like old subway tokens and forgotten earrings. As awed as she is by the Downside, however, she also questions its origins, and when she finds out that this fantastic world is not all it appears to be, she is determined to tell Talon the truth. Then a construction accident threatens to crush Talon's world, and his loyalty is put to the test. Can the truth save the Downside, or will it destroy an entire civilization? Neal Shusterman takes readers on an amazing journey into a place that's only a few steps away, yet beyond their wildest dreams.

About Neal Shusterman

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Neal Shusterman, New York Times bestselling author, has written more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including Full Tilt, The Skinjacker Trilogy (Everlost, Everwild, and Everfound), Unwind, UnWholly, Bruiser, and The Schwa Was Here, which won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for fiction. Several of his books are now in development as feature films. Neal lives in Southern California when he’s not travelling the globe, and can be found online at
Published February 21, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 256 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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their isolation breached by a Topsider aqueduct project, the Downsiders respond by cutting off all utilities (oblivious, New Yorkers respond with a huge block party), then, under Talon's leadership, filling upper levels with natural gas and setting it off.

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Publishers Weekly

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History and urban folklore are wittily combined in Shusterman's (The Eyes of Kid Midas) well-wrought fantasy, centering on an alternative society that thrives undisturbed in the subterranean recesses

May 31 1999 | Read Full Review of Downsiders

Publishers Weekly

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Amidst the thrills and insider humor (Downsiders eat throgsneck soup and have hunted sewer alligators to extinction), Shusterman offers a crisply written coming-of-age story with a message worth pondering: ""Better that the truth be like the moon--a bright sphere only showing half of its face at ...

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Granted, the Downsiders had a slight innocence to them due to the lack of crime and pain caused by one another, but the blind stupidity of being set in their ways were just as severe as the Topsiders.

Jul 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Downsiders

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